Charismatic Leadership: President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev

In October 2021, presidential elections were held in the Republic of Uzbekistan. His Excellency Shavkat Mirziyoyev won the elections with 80.1 percent of the total number of voters. Results reflect the nation’s strong support for the course of reforms and transformations, the results of which are felt in the lives of Uzbek people and their confidence in the future. Over the past five years, unprecedented large-scale work has been done under the leadership of President Mirziyoyev. The spirit of renewal has reached every area.

Following the Action Strategy for five priority areas of development of the Republic of Uzbekistan in 2017-2021, the most important administrative, legal and economic reforms have been implemented. Uzbekistan’s contemporary development under President Shavkat can also be viewed statistically. During this period, the country’s economy grew by 24 percent, industry by 34 percent, exports increased 1.5 times, and the volume of foreign investments three times. Moreover, the country’s gross domestic product has reached $60 billion, and average monthly wages have increased 2.2 times during President Shavkat Mirziyoyev’s tenure. Undoubtedly, under the leadership of President Mirziyoyev, Uzbekistan has begun its journey towards a prosperous and welfare state.

Political Career

His Excellency Shavkat Mirziyoyev started his career at the Tashkent Institute of Engineers of Irrigation and Mechanization of Agriculture. He worked as a junior research fellow, senior lecturer, associate professor, and associate professor, eventually Vice-Rector for academic affairs. In 1990, he was elected deputy of the Supreme Council of the Republic, and at the same time, served as Chairman of the Credentials Committee. In 1992, President Shavkat Mirziyoyev was appointed Hokim (Governor) of Mirzo Ulugbek district of Tashkent. Later from 1996-2001, he was appointed as Hokim of Jizzakh region; from 2001-2003 he ruled as Hokim of Samarkand region and made an outstanding contribution to the socio-economic development of the districts as mentioned earlier and regions.

While working in the executive branch, at the same time as deputy of the Oliy Majlis of the Republic of Uzbekistan in 1995-2003, he was actively involved in the elaboration and adoption of important legislative acts directed at the political and socio-economic development of the country and the implementation of democratic reforms. Furthermore, Shavkat Mirziyoyev was approved as the Prime Minister of the Republic of Uzbekistan in 2003, and three times in 2005, 2010 and 2015 was reapproved in his post by both houses of the Oliy Majlis. This shows people’s confidence in President Mirziyoyev exceptional leadership qualities and his devotion to work positively for Uzbekistan. President Shavkat has envisioned Uzbekistan to become a stable economic and political state throughout his political career and has operated diligently to fulfill this dream.

A Charismatic Statesman
President Shavkat Mirziyoyev envisions Uzbekistan as the center of Central Asia. With the rapid economic pace Uzbekistan is going through, coupled with the rapid economic pace and its political and regional influence, Uzbekistan is ready to become a regional power in Central Asia. Through President Shavkat Mirziyoyev active diplomacy and creative leadership skills, Uzbekistan has also achieved greater regional connectivity. A definite upsurge is visible in trade and commerce through President Mirziyoyev groundbreaking initiatives. Similarly, extensive opportunities have been created to develop regions and expand industry and services. Hundreds of enterprises and factories and thousands of new jobs have appeared. Great innovative work has also been done. Practical effectiveness and human interests are at the forefront of reforms. Social-oriented programs have been implemented. Much attention was paid to science, education, healthcare, culture and art, media, and sports.

On the evening of the elections, the “New Uzbekistan” Strategy has been developed to bring the development of the country and the life of Uzbek people to a new level. The objectives and content of the program were widely communicated to voters during the campaign meetings, and citizens believed in the success of the strategy.

Since Shavkat Mirziyoyev took charge of the country as President, Uzbekistan’s foreign policy and diplomatic engagements are in great flux. In his first year as the country’s new president, Shavkat Mirziyoyev was a man in motion, visiting more than a dozen countries and overseeing significant new policy initiatives. These included strengthening foreign economic cooperation, casing travel restrictions, and making Central Asian solidarity a core foreign policy goal. At the same time, under President Shavkat Mirziyoyev, Uzbekistan has remained committed to the principles of non-intervention in the internal affairs of foreign countries; non-membership in foreign military alliances; non-deployment of Uzbek troops in foreign countries; and non-acceptance of foreign military bases on Uzbekistan’s territory. In pursuit of implementing the development strategy in Uzbekistan, President Mirziyoyev’s government has taken positive steps to ensure Uzbekistan in the ranks of developed democratic states. President Mirziyoyev envisions stability and good neighborliness belt around Uzbekistan; strengthening the international reputation of the Republic of Uzbekistan, making available to the international community of the objective information on the ongoing reforms in the country and most importantly improving the legal framework of the foreign policy and foreign economic activities of the Republic of Uzbekistan, as well as the legal basis for international cooperation along with resolving issues of delimitation and demarcation of the state boundary of the Republic of Uzbekistan.

Apart from the wide stretch of foreign policy avenues, the new government of President Mirziyoyev has focused on economic reforms. These reforms aim to curtail central planning, promote private business, encourage foreign investment, pursue diversification, liberalize currency regulations, spur technological innovation, and eliminate corruption and the informal economy. Internationally, the Mirziyoyev administration has promoted two-way trade, investment, and deepen engagement with international economic institutions; pursued balanced security measures with other countries; and sought opportunities within the framework of China’s “One Belt One Road initiative by leveraging Uzbekistan’s potential as a transportation corridor. Furthermore, recent military reforms also aim to enhance national defenses against regional terrorist threats. In January 2017, President Mirziyoyev announced a military modernization program that increased Uzbekistan’s maintenance and repair capabilities, restructuring legislative oversight, reorganizing regional commands, and updating educational doctrines. The Uzbek military is downsizing, upgrading its equipment, and reinforcing border security and counterterrorism capabilities.
Additionally, under Mirziyoyev, Uzbekistan is developing military-technical cooperation with several countries, including Russia, Kazakhstan, and Turkey. Since Shavkat Mirziyoyev came into power, Uzbekistan has been proactively transforming to regional and global peace. Under the New Uzbekistan reforms, His Excellency Shavkat Mirziyoyev has liberalized the foreign currency market to attract investments. There have been considerable improvements in the media landscape. The reform process is fully underway, seeking to modernize and liberalize the economy and society. Moreover, to strengthen openness and transparency, the visionary leadership of Uzbekistan is ambitious to implement the constitutional rules on freedom of speech, spreading information, and regional integration.

President Mirziyoyev’s foreign policy based on regional connectivity is not confined to central Asia only; moreover, His Excellency has initiated regional connectivity between South and Central Asia. Examining the importance of geopolitical and geo-economics pillars, His Excellency adopted various conduits of cooperation between the two regions. In this regard, both Pakistan and Uzbekistan played a vital role in connecting the two regions to explore the untapped trade and investment potentials.

Many analysts have shared their opinion with regard to the visionary leadership qualities of President Mirziyoyev. The analysts, believe that Uzbekistan is entering a new stage of development, where representatives of different nationalities, ethnic groups, religions, and confessions live together in a family of friendship, solidarity, and mutual respect. At the initiative of President Shavkat Mirziyoyev, large-scale reforms are being implemented in the country, reflecting the political and economic modernization, i.e., the transformation of Uzbekistan into a modern state. Under President Mirziyoyev’s leadership, Uzbekistan has sought to repair the relationship with its neighbors and has dedicated significant attention to the peaceful settlement of the situation in Afghanistan. His Excellency Shavkat Mirziyoyev has displayed finesse and proficiency in prioritizing joint ventures and economic reintegration from reestablishing ties with South Asia for regional socio-economic connectivity to supporting rehabilitation in Afghanistan.

Leadership and Vision

Uzbekistan remained under a constant hazard of being unable to achieve socio-economic and socio-political freedom. Despite being one of the fundamental links to China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), Uzbekistan has had to strive for regional cooperation to reap the benefits of such enterprises. Such threats were exceptionally understood by His Excellency Mr. Shavkat Mirziyoyev, President of Uzbekistan, who has dedicated his political sagacity and administrative acumen to accomplish his dream of economic sufficiency and regional integration.

As head of government, His Excellency President Shavkat has shown tremendous abilities and outstanding leadership in the implementation of wide-ranging socio-economic reforms, the modernization and improvement of the country, the realization of significant and unique projects, development and protection of private property, a radical increase in the share of small business and private enterprise in the economy and consolidation of their legal security. In his activities, Shavkat Mirziyoyev has attached special significance to economic development on the industrial basis, to the improvement of the country’s exporting potential, the cardinal transformation of the agricultural sector, especially the extensive advancement of the farming enterprise, profound processing of agricultural products, provision for food security of the nation and the guaranteed supply of goods to the population at reasonable prices. In order to significantly uplift the living and working conditions of people, President Mirziyoyev took effective measures for large-scale construction and improvement works in all regions of the country, to improve the quality of public services, integrated development of cities and districts, including remote rural areas. In his activities, along with the socio-economic dimension, a significant emphasis is placed as a priority focus on the progress of education, science, and healthcare following modern requirements, on the creation of conditions necessary for the formation of the healthy and comprehensively advanced younger generation, protection of motherhood and childhood.

Much attention is paid by His Excellency to the further enhancement of the credibility of the unique institution of self-government, to the consistent consolidation of their weight in the community through broad involvement in the process of democratic reforms, as well as the preservation and enrichment of national spiritual values. Likewise, in addressing economic and social issues, President Shavkat directly supervised the efforts to build up comprehensive mutually advantageous cooperation with other countries, international organizations, and financial institutions, as well as important agreements that serve the national interests and the economic development of the country. Over many years of fruitful work in government and administration, for enormous contribution to the country’s development, improvement of the welfare of people, Shavkat Mirziyoyev was awarded the Order Mehnat Shuhrati (Glory of Work) and Fidokorona Khizmatlari Uchun (For Selfless Service). Indeed, President Shavkat contribution to Uzbekistan and his efforts to strengthen Central Asia will be remembered for the years to come. Under His Excellency Shavkat Mirziyoyev, Uzbekistan stands to posit itself as a bastion of peace, prosperity, cultural connectivity, and a platform for the confluence of regional integration. His vision has positively impacted domestic growth and sociopolitical reconstruction. His vision for Central-South Asia connectivity is one of the most landmark events in the Central Asian Road to economic liberalization.

Conclusion

President Mirziyoyev adopted the policy of connectivity between Central Asian states. Under his dynamic governance model, Uzbekistan’s regional policy for rapprochement with all Central Asian states and strengthening political dialogue at the highest level has produced many practical results, principally by giving new thrust for collaboration in the economic, transport, trade, and communication spheres. President Mirziyoyev’s foreign policy based on regional connectivity is not confined to central Asia only; moreover, His Excellency has initiated regional connectivity between South and Central Asia. Examining the importance of geopolitical and geo-economics pillars, His Excellency adopted various conduits of cooperation between the two regions. In this regard, both Pakistan and Uzbekistan played a vital role in connecting the two regions to explore the untapped trade and investment potentials. As well as academic, intellectual and institutional development and promotion of tourism is key focus of both states. Considering the potential of trade between Central Asia and South Asia through China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), Pakistan – Afghanistan – Uzbekistan trade corridor could become a cornerstone to connectivity between the two regions. In order to practically initiate the proposed ventures, there should be frequent visits of trade and business delegations, regular holding of investment & business meetings, conferences, relaxation in visa formalities, incentives and attractive packages for investments, relaxation in tariffs and taxes in Pakistan and the Central Asian States.

Start of direct flights, increase in educational, cultural, and media exchanges are significant to develop mutually beneficial relations, based on the values of mutual respect and in shared interests.

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About Amna Malik 61 Articles
Author is the President, Center of Pakistan and International Relations (COPAIR) and Editor-in-Chief of ‘Mélange int’l Magazine’ and ‘ The Asian Telegraph’.